- HB Kham
Trekking to Upper Mustang is not only exploring the mystical areas of Nepal’s medieval kingdom but also getting insight into a “Forbidden Himalayan Kingdom” endowed with a unique and exotic Tibetan type of heritage.
Elevated at around 2500 meters from sea level and located at least 200 km far from Kathmandu can undoubtedly usher you into a different land of wonders with lots of things of mystical dimensions about which explorations can take unlimited time and number of days.
The spectacular and amazing sight of majestic rocks cannot be described in human words. The ancient caves you will come across will hint many things about history, people and culture. The natural scenic beauty that presents itself before you here is not found elsewhere.
The trek into this hidden and mystical ancient kingdom is spiritually enriched and naturally tranquil which is endowed with ancient Tibetan cultural and religious intact values and heritages.
Trekking through the upper Mustang is entering into a mysterious world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Nepal which was previously known as “Lo”.
The Upper Mustang area comprises two-third of northern Mustang district of Dhaulagiri. It was a completely restricted area for outsiders until 1992. Now only a limited number of tourists are allowed to visit this region every year with individual permissions granted.
The main feature of this trekking is to observe the beauty of the desert and captivating the cliff-faced landscape in this region.
The trekking trail usually follows the old salt caravan track through which the people of Mustang used to trade in Salt with Tibetan people.
The main target of trekking into this land is to reach the capital city of Upper Mustang- Lo Manthang.
Being at Lo Manthang will make you feel like stepping into a different exotic and spectacular world with narrow alleys, hidden chortens, and long walls of prayer wheels and herds of farm animals.
The sight of royal palace and old monasteries like Thugchen Gompa built in the 15th century at Lo Manthang can offer you the rare opportunity to see this mystical and wonderful sight.
The easiest way to reach Upper Mustang is to take a flight from Kathmandu for Pokhara and then taking another flight from Pokhara to Jomson to start the trek from there.
The flight can give you the rare sight of Kali Gandaki as the deepest gorge in the world, Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks.
This region is very cold in winter and is always windy and dusty. So, the winter treks are usually avoided.
It takes at least 9-10 days to finish treks in Upper Mustang that starts and ends at the Kagbeni area.
History and Legend
Lomathang used to be part of the Tibetan Kingdom of Gungthang till 1830. There are 275 households in Lo Mangthang. The village here has only solar electricity.
Legend has it that Tibetan Guru Rinpoche had fought against all demon in Mustang’s snowy mountains, desert canyons, and grasslands. Once when Guru Rinpoche killed a demon, he scattered the parts of the demon’s body to various parts of Mustang valley. However, the demon’s blood formed the towering red cliffs and its intestines tumbled near Ghami where people later built prayer walls thereby making it the longest prayer wall in Nepal.
If you wish to trek into the region you can visit the itineraries of various trekking agencies operating in Nepal and plan your treks accordingly.
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